Taylor Phinney clicks his 2016 season into gear this week, with scheduled starts at Haut Var-Matin (February 20-21) and the Tour La Provence (February 23-25) in France.
With only a few weeks of racing in 2015, followed by a long off-season, the American says he is keen to return to action.
“I’m excited about racing in Provence and the two races are historically good for the team,” Phinney said in BMC Racing release. “The French teams always come out strong so I’m expecting some hard and aggressive racing.”
The 25-year-old continues his long march back from a crash during the 2014 U.S. national championships that left him with career-threatening injuries to his knee and leg. Phinney rebounded last year, winning a stage at the USA Pro Challenge and riding strong in the world championships in Richmond, Virginia.
Phinney is still holding out hope of racing the spring classics this year, and this first round of races in France will go a long way toward indicating if he’s up to the challenge and demands of the classics.
“I still want to do those races,” Phinney said at BMC’s December training camp. “I cannot say I will do this or that at Roubaix. I have a different mentality toward racing, toward what I am capable of doing.”
BMC sport director Yvon Ledanois said the French races will provide an opportunity for all riders to achieve a result.
“Our objective is to continue the success that the team has already experienced this season,” Ledanois said. “All of the riders are in good shape after solid training camps in December and January, so we expect to be up there at the front of these races.”